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Arkansas Universities, Accredited Colleges, and Degrees

Colleges in Arkansas are overseen by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE). This governing board is comprised of a group of education professionals whose work is meant to reach the end goal of fostering students' success in higher education programs. More specifically, it manages financial assistance programs and maintains the quality of the 92 colleges and universities in Arkansas. Overall, the ADHE serves both as a higher education resource for residents and companies, and a board whose quality standards Arkansas schools must meet to offer education programs.

Accredited Colleges & Universities in Arkansas

There are 27 four-year universities and colleges in Arkansas. Of those, the University of Arkansas system and Arkansas State University have the largest enrollments. However, the top colleges in Arkansas are the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas. The University of Central Arkansas is a public higher education institution founded in 1907 in the city of Conway. It is ranked No. 60 among best colleges in the south by U.S. News & World Report and had an acceptance rate of 92.9% in the fall of 2011. Meanwhile, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville is ranked No. 134 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Also a public university, it was founded in 1871 and today offers around 200 disciplines of study.

Arkansas is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), which is a nonprofit board composed of 16 U.S. states. This board works to improve education, quality of life, and the economy in each of the member states through collaboration and interstate agreements. As a SREB member, Arkansas participates in the SREB Academic Common Market (ACM) as well as the Academic Common Market/Electronic Campus (ACM/EC). Both of these programs make it possible for students to gain an education not offered by any Arkansas colleges. The ACM program enables students to attend college at an out-of-state participating college for the price of that state's in-state tuition. The ACM/EC program enables students to do the same, except through distance learning.

Meanwhile, many schools in Arkansas have begun offering online programs in order to boost the state's enrollment and graduation rates. Some of the best traditional colleges that also happen to be online colleges in Arkansas are the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University. The University of Arkansas offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as individual courses through its Global Campus. Arkansas State University, on the other hand, offers more than 200 online courses to meet the needs of distance students.

Accredited Community Colleges in Arkansas

There are 65 junior colleges in Arkansas, and Pulaski Technical College and Northwest Arkansas Community College have the highest enrollment of all community and technical colleges in Arkansas. Recognizing that preventing on-going poverty in the state requires low-income students' access to higher education, the ADHE began the Sustainable Communities through Community College Leadership Initiative in 2010. The initiative was created to raise awareness about the financial needs of prospective impoverished college students as well as the causes of poverty. Through these actions, the initiative was proposed to rally community partners to encourage local and state governments to increase funds and outreach for impoverished students' higher education pursuits.

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